Tag Archives: Civil Liberties

BORDC Honors Coalition Member

Denisa Jashari

Every month, BORDC honors an individual who has done outstanding work in support of civil liberties and the rule of law in his or her community. This month, the Patriot Award goes to Denisa Jashari for her invaluable service to the movement for civil liberties and human rights in the state of Connecticut.Denisa has been involved in grassroots organizing in Connecticut since 2007, after she began studying at Trinity College in 2006. Co-founder of the college Anti-War Coalition, she believed that at a time when students in the US are overwhelmed with debt, funds for war should instead be used to address domestic needs. As a member of Stop the Raids, a student run group whose mission was to support immigrants on a local and national level, she stood in solidarity with undocumented immigrants to combat anti-immigrant bias and profiling.Most recently, Denisa helped start the Connecticut Coalition to Stop Indefinite Detention in late 2011. Along with fellow Connecticut activists Mongi Dhaouadi (from CAIR-CT) and Chris Gauvreau (from the United National Antiwar Coalition), Denisa aimed to mobilize outrage at the indefinite domestic military detention powers of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).Their first call to create a coalition yielded tremendous results: In February, more than 100 people from 30 different organizations convened to discuss how to mobilize in response to this most recent attack on civil liberties. The organizations included civil rights, anti-war, and interfaith organizations, Occupy, and others from throughout Connecticut. The coalition is mobilizing statewide resistance to the NDAA’s detention powers, while also standing in solidarity with allied groups, such as those confronting racial profiling by the NYPD and its abusive stop & frisk program.

As an organizer, Denisa has seen how vulnerable a community can become as its rights dissolve. In response, she has helped lead the coalition to take an educational tone. The coalition has sponsored events featuring speakers, such as former US Army Chaplain James Yee, whose service at Guantanamo Bay led him to grow disillusioned with the war on terror.

The coalition is also working to create grassroots support for a resolution opposing the NDAA in New Britain, CT to express the community’s condemnation of its potentially draconian detention provisions. Its current emphases are on engaging further allies, conducting public education events like its forum on November 17, in Hartford.

The coalition has also mobilized, marching on August 8, to show solidarity with activists raided by the FBI, as well as Sikhs and other South Asians targeted by hate crimes.

Denisa notes that we live in a “time period facing huge attacks on our civil liberties. We understood that.” While she recently moved to Indiana to pursue a PHD in Latin American Studies at the University of Indiana-Bloomington, she plans to continue organizing in her new community.

BORDC thanks Denisa for the remarkable contribution she has made to the struggle for civil liberties in Hartford and across Connecticut. She is truly a model citizen. BORDC is proud to honor her with the August 2012 Patriot Award.

October 7, No War on Syria and Iran! Defend Civil Liberties from Repression at Home!

Join the CT Coalition to Stop Indefinite Detention on October 7 as we march in NYC.  Below is the call put out by the United National Antiwar Coalition:
DANGEROUS ESCALATION IN THREATS OF MILITARY ACTION AGAINST SYRIA AND IRAN AND INCREASED RACIST VIOLENCE AND REPRESSION AT HOME UNAC CALLS FOR EDUCATION AND ACTION*NO WARS/NO SANCTIONS/NO DRONES/NO THREATS/NO PROVOCATIONS/NO ASSASSINATIONS!*NO TO RACISM, RAIDS, AND REPRESSION!

*BUILD OCTOBER 7 ACTIONS AGAINST WARS ABROAD AND POLICE STATE ATTACKS ON CIVIL LIBERTIES AT HOME!

The news is filled with alarming new threats of attacks on Syria and Iran.  Secretary of State Clinton says the U.S. and Turkey are discussing details for a “No-Fly Zone” over Syria.  We know from the Libyan experience that a “No-Fly Zone” would require massive NATO bombing of Syrian air defenses and huge civilian casualties.  At the same time, State Department spokespeople are targeting Iran and Hezbollah for alleged military support to the Assad government and unsubstantiated terrorist actions.  These claims and increased sanctions are designed to justify increased U.S. intervention.  Israel says Iran is on the verge of developing nuclear weapons.  Israel, whose belligerence was recently rewarded by the U.S. gift of a $680M missile shield (added to the $3.1 billion for military aid this year), has again gone to the airwaves threatening pre-emptive military action against Iran in the near future.

All of this sounds eerily familiar as lead-ups to new wars, when the old ones have not ended.  This is how the public was whipped up and the basis was laid before attacking Iraq and Libya.  Going after Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, and Libya, causing massive loss of life and destruction, could be small potatoes compared to the conflagration we might see following military intervention in Syria, Iran and Lebanon.  This would also prevent achievement of the promise we witnessed with the Arab Spring uprisings.  All of this stemming from a rapacious drive for imperialist domination of resources and power.

At the same time, we see increased repression and poverty at home.  Islamophobia and scapegoating of Muslims leads to manufactured frame-ups and violence against the Muslim community, and by extension brutal attacks on Sikhs as well.  Immigrants are targeted.  Increased militarization of our society leads to an expansion of surveillance and stop-and-frisk operations, military weapons in the hands of police, and an explosion of the prison industry with mass incarceration of Black and Latino youth.  Civil liberties and the right to dissent are under siege with indefinite detention and extra-judicial assassinations now the law of the land.

To pay for wars and to maximize the profits of the haves, they take more and more from the have-nots.  We see cuts to the social safety nets, attacks on labor, privatization of government programs, huge unemployment, neglect of infrastructure, rapid climate change and poisoning of the environment.

When we need a strong and unified movement to mobilize against these horrors, much of the left is confused by the misinformation and distracted by the elections.  We can’t be falsely assured that elections will save us when the wars and repressions have been bi-partisan.  We are not powerless.  We must do everything we can to counter these threats.

What should we do?

Counter the media propaganda and educate people about the realities on the ground with teach-ins, forums, protests, letters to the editor, op-eds, phone calls to Congress, petitions, resolutions and referendums.  Be creative.

Reach out to new constituencies and form alliances based on our connected interests – students, Occupy activists, workers, immigrant groups, Muslims, community groups, civil liberties organizations, antiwar committees, international solidarity groups, communities of color.

If there is direct military intervention or a “No Fly Zone”, we must pour into the streets with day-after mobilizations.

Stand in solidarity with victims of police, state, and racial violence and repression and build links to people under attack – Sikhs, Muslims, undocumented workers, death row prisoners, African-American and Latino youth, social justice activists are all targets in an atmosphere of escalating racism and repression.

Build regional and local actions all over the country focused on the dual wars abroad and at home-on Sunday, October 7, the anniversary of the attack on Afghanistan and the initiation of the global War of Terror on the 99% in the interests of the 1%.

LET’S STAND TOGETHER IN UNITY AND SOLIDARITY.  TOGETHER WE ARE POWERFUL!

September 6th: Japanese-American Internment and State Repression Today

Japanese-American Internment and State Repression Today  

With Lorraine Leiko Miyahara Author of:

Internment
A True Story
Memories of a Thirteen Year Old Girl, 1941-1944
September 6th at 7pm
New Britain Public Library Community Room 20 High Street New Britain, CTAs war hysteria swept the west coast in 1941 Japanese American Families were forced from their homes and lands by presidential decree, which gave them only forty-eight hours to leave their homes and abandon their businesses. The government confined more than 120,000 Japanese-Americans in internment camps around the country. Both American citizens and resident aliens were treated as grave security threats. Large signs in bold letters were posted everywhere for all persons of Japanese ancestry, listing the areas and boundaries that were affected.Hear author Lorraine Leiko Miyahara describe her experience in the internment camps as a child and what present assaults on civil liberties mean for people in the U.S. today. To be followed by a discussion.

Sponsored by the Connecticut Coalition Against Indefinite Detention

For more information contact Dan at 860-985-4576                       http://www.CTStopIndefiniteDetention.wordpress.com